The COVID-19 vaccine has been a welcome achievement for many. All individuals 12 and older living in Maryland are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and more than 6 million doses have been administered so far. But with the rate of vaccinations in the largest vaccination effort in U.S. history, COVID-19 vaccine-related errors do occur. According to one news source, an analysis of COVID-19-related event reports that were submitted to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices National Vaccine Errors Reporting Program from December 2020 to April 2021 reveals common COVID-19 vaccine errors:
Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA)
COVID-19 vaccines can be improperly injected into a patient’s shoulder joint instead of the deltoid muscle in the upper arm. This may occur due to a lack of training on the correct technique for administering intramuscular vaccines.
Failing to check/document administration in immunization information system
Providers are required to accurately document the specific COVID-19 vaccine that a patient receives for their first dose in a state or local Immunization Information System or another designated system in addition to a vaccination card. Failing to do so may result in the incorrect second being administered, the incorrect date for the second dose, and providing a repeat dose.
The Pzifer/BioNTech vaccine must be mixed with sterile 0.9% sodium chloride. Sterile water has been used in its place.
Wrong diluent volume
The Pzifer/BioNTech vaccine, unlike Moderna, must be diluted. Some doses have not been diluted or overly diluted, causing doses to be ineffective or causing stronger adverse effects.
Errors related to vaccine storage
Different COVID-19 vaccines have been store near each other and then mixed up. Vaccines should be stored in separate locations or on separate shelves.
Mix-ups with other medications
In some cases, another drug was administered instead of the COVID-19 vaccine, such as an EPINEPHrine injection. Doses of EPINEPHrine should be stored in a different location from the vaccine.
Administering an empty vaccine syringe
In preparing doses for vaccinations, some empty syringes placed near syringes prefilled with vaccine and have been accidentally injected into patients instead of the vaccine.
A lower dose has been administered to some individuals. It is often caused by vaccine leakage during an injection, which may be caused by an improper fit between the needle hub and the syringe.
Some vaccines have been administered to patients who are younger than the age required for administration of the vaccine, often because a vaccine provider fails to ask age-related screening questions.
Competency issues can causes errors such as incorrect volume and improper injection. Staff should be educated about the proper storage, preparation, and administration of the COVID-19 vaccines and common errors.
Can Patients Who Suffer a Vaccine Error Recover Financial Damages?
Patients who experience vaccine errors or adverse reactions may be able to recover financial compensation from the people and entities who administered, stored, or manufactured the vaccine. Victims of a vaccine error may be able to receive compensation for past and future medical expenses, loss of wages and earning capacity, and other damages. A Maryland claim based on negligence generally must be filed within three years after the date of the injury.
Contact a Dedicated Personal Injury Lawyer in Maryland or Washington, D.C.
Maryland vaccine error victims should consult a knowledgeable Maryland personal injury who can retain a persuasive expert on their behalf and adhere to the complicated procedural rules in these cases. At Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, our legal team can guide you through each step of the proceedings, ranging from the initial investigation of your case through settlement negotiations and any litigation that becomes necessary. To schedule a free consultation, call us toll-free at (800) 654-1949 or contact us online to speak with one of our Maryland pharmacy error attorneys today.